NKT2152 is a small molecule therapy that inhibits HIF2α, in combination with palbociclib and sasanlimab to treat advanced ccRCC


NiKang, Pfizer collaborate on development of NKT2152. (Credit: Chokniti Khongchum from Pixabay.)

NiKang Therapeutics, a biotech company developing small molecule oncology medicines, has teamed up with Pfizer to advance the clinical development of its cancer drug NKT2152.

Under the terms of the collaboration and supply agreement, NiKang will sponsor the study, while Pfizer will co-fund the clinical trials and provide its drugs at no cost.

Both parties will establish a Joint Development Committee to supervise the collaboration.

NKT2152, in combination with Pfizer’s palbociclib and sasanlimab, inhibits hypoxia inducible factor 2α (HIF2α) to treat advanced clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC).

HIF2α is a transcription factor that plays an important role in the development and progression of cancer cells.

Palbociclib is a cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK)4/6 inhibitor, while sasanlimab is a subcutaneously administered PD-1 inhibitor.

Two different NKT2152 combinations will be used to treat ccRCC patients who have not responded to or relapsed from prior therapies separately.

NiKang co-founder, president, and CEO Zhenhai Gao said: “We are excited to work with Pfizer, a company that has been a leader in RCC drug development for nearly two decades, and appreciate its recognition of the potential for these important combination strategies in helping ccRCC patients in need.

“The scientific rationale of these novel combinations is compelling as they target different and complementary pathways.

“This clinical collaboration provides an excellent framework under which both companies pool their proprietary products and resources together to effectively explore the potential of these combination therapies.”

Last month, NiKang dosed the first patient in the Phase 1/2 dose escalation and expansion study of NKT2152 to treat advanced ccRCC.

The Phase 1/2 trial is designed to evaluate safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and clinical activity in patients with advanced ccRCC.

Once an optimised dose is determined, the studies will start evaluating NKT2152 in combination with Pfizer’s palbociclib and sasanlimab.